By Vernon Burns
The resent revelations of a probe bring launched by the US House Committee on oversight and government reform, concerning the actions of The Alabama Education Association (A.E.A.) reaffirms our distrust of labor unions in general and public employee unions in particular.
I will not in this space attempt to restate all the information relating to the United States House of Representatives Committee on oversight and government reforms investigation of the activities of the Alabama Education Association (A.E.A.) and the National Education Association (N.E.A.). For a complete review of that material, please see the three news articles from 4/4/12 and 4/5/12 now archived on the home page of this site.
After you have made yourself aware of the typical strong arm union tactics employed by the A.E.A. ask yourself, is this the actions of the respected teachers we trust with our children’s education or the teamsters union, Jimmy Hoffa vintage?
Is this an example of the mind set of those with the power and position to greatly influence the world view, the character, and the morality of future generations? How did this happen to the once honored profession of teaching?
First let us be reminded of the fact that teachers are a minority in the teachers union. The majority of the membership is made up of janitorial and maintenance personnel, bus drivers, food service workers, and other administrative and support staff. But, with little doubt, the majority of well-educated teachers do appear to support the unions goals while being unaware or unconcerned about its methods.
How has this “me first” mentality corrupted the teaching profession? This sense of entitlement has invaded the teachers mind the same way it has invaded the mind of the general public. We have been told by progressive socialist politicians, union bosses, and now the teachers that we deserve more and more and only they, as the government or as the union or as both, only they can insure that we get what we deserve and are entitled to.
We are now in second and third generation of union teachers that have been educated from “K” through teaching degree by union teachers.
Wow, have things changed! As a 1966 Pell City, Alabama high school graduate, I treasure my basic education from kindergarden through high school. Our teachers were more concerned with shaping our character than just filling our heads with facts. They taught us that we, as individuals, were the only one responsible for what we made of ourselves. Honesty and hard work were standards to live by. We were expected to be good citizens for a lifetime, with a sound knowledge of our nations past and an interest in its future. We knew citizenship was our responsibility. We knew this because we were not just instructed by instructors. We were led by our teachers. Most of the great people who taught school, at that time, were true role models. They became teachers, not for just a job, but because it was their calling. For most of our teachers inspiring young people was their life work. For others it was a second calling undertaken after a successful career in other fields such as business or the military. A great many of the men and women, in teaching at that time, were veterans of World War 11.
Having a labor union and a political party as task masters is something our teachers would not have understood, or tolerated. They were free and independent teachers who led us to become free and independent citizens. My good teachers would not have become puppets to be used by a labor union and the Democratic Party. Yes, in Alabama the A.E.A. and the Democratic Party are one and the same.
Where have all the good teachers gone? They are still in our classrooms, working hard, with the same spirit that was there fifty years or hundred and fifty years ago. The desire to teach and improve the lives of your students, in every way, is the fire that will always burn in the soul of every good teacher.
But our teachers of today have been, now for generations, miseducated, misinformed, and misled. They work in an environment that is structured more for political results than for educational results. Year after year they have been subject to intimation, coercion, threats, lies, and brute force (liability insurance?) until most think and accept this is how the system was designed to work. It may have been designed to work this way, but these strong arm tactics are just the tools used to accomplish the subjugation of any who oppose the absolute rule of the N.E.A, A.E.A/Democratic Party.
With the investigation of the N.E.A. and A.E.A., by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, now taking place in Washington D.C. and with the new leadership that has taken control of what has been runaway government in our state, now is the the time for all good teachers to restore their good name. If you as a, current or former, A.E.A. member, have been used, against your will, for any donation or political activity, please see the contact list below.
Thank you for standing up for freedom. Together we will restore our nation.
Letter from Darrell Issa to AEA President Dot Strickland
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform